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Leading tackler among two Clemson defensive starters returning for senior seasons

Stephone Anthony Getty Images

Clemson’s offense may have taken a significant early-entry hit, but the other side of the ball received some good news in regards to veteran talent eschewing the NFL.

The Tigers announced Wednesday that linebacker Stephone Anthony and defensive end Corey Crawford will be returning to the football program for their senior seasons.  Neither had really been expected to leave early, but the official word bodes well for the Tigers defense in 2014.

Anthony led the team in tackles with 131 — the most by a Tiger player in a single season since 2003 — and was second in tackles for loss with 13.5.  His lone interception on the season was a big one as it helped seal Clemson’s Orange Bowl win over Ohio State.

Starting 12 games this season, Crawford’s 10.5 tackles for loss were good for third on the team.

The NFL news on the defensive side is not all puppy dogs and rainbows as defensive end Vic Beasley, who led the Tigers with 23 tackles for loss and 13 sacks, is expected to announce at some point before the Jan. 15 deadline that he will make himself available for the May draft.

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